I never thought I would look forward to Daniel's work slowing down like I have this year. In past years it's been a test of faith when the slow time kept going... and going... and going. And the bills didn't stop coming just because our income dropped drastically.
This year, though, we were anticipating it. And when things got BUSY instead of slowing down, we were thinking "Ok... it's nice overtime, I guess he'll work on the addition ... sometime!" Then last week he started getting home at more reasonable hours. And this week early.
He didn't have to go to work yesterday at all, and has off again today! Usually the slow time is much earlier in the year so I was thinking maybe it had skipped over his company this time. Now that this week has turned into a 3 day work week, it's kinda nice. I'm not anxious about getting through the slow season this year. I know that God will get us through financially, and we're also better prepared than we have been in the past.
While we have no way of knowing if this will last one week or several, here are ways I'm planning to make our household budget stretch:
Making meals strictly from what we already have on hand. We bought 1/2 a side of beef this spring, I have 2 turkeys in the freezer from the Easter sale (one is cooked and picked, the other one is still whole), sliced ham for sandwiches also from the Easter sale, and a couple weeks ago I stocked up on chicken when it was on sale and marked down. We are getting plenty of squash and zucchini from the garden plus there are plenty of peas in the freezer and some other frozen vegetables that I picked up here and there. I have been keeping more flour on hand so bread won't be a problem. The only thing we will need to get weekly will be milk, and maybe orange juice or eggs.
Ban use of the clothes dryer. I'll be honest and say that this week I have used it instead of hanging clothes out on the line because I felt I had so much going on. But I can rearrange priorities even more and start hanging out laundry again. I might save electricity by using my time to hang out the laundry instead of running the vacuum cleaner... :P I'm working on a wedding cake this week, so my already prioritized priorities are even more not the norm.
Use cloth diapers. Disposables are so not cheap when you're not sniffing out the best deals possible. Ok, "sniffing out" probably wasn't the best choice of words! Ha! I have really slacked off on the cloth diapers lately because I haven't made folding the flat diapers a top priority. Since I bought the FuzziBunz - which I could use day in and day out! - I have grown to really dis-like the flat diapers that require about 5x the work. I was actually considering buying more FuzziBunz (we only have 5, enough for 1 day), but of course that is going to go way back on the burner now. What we do have works just fine, I just need to take the time to use them.
I know none of this is new to me and probably not to you. I'm putting it in writing because somehow this makes it more do-able and more of a commitment on my part. I've done pantry challenges before. I've been strict about line drying everything before. I've been strict about using cloth diapers before. I can do it again.
I'll be posting again soon, I hope, with some new pictures of progress actually being made on the addition! It has been so long since Daniel's been able to make any real progress, this is exciting!